MCAT logo

MCAT 2021: Dates, Eligibility, Registration, Pattern and Syllabus

Megha Rohilla logo

Megha Rohilla

University Data Specialist

Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is an entrance test for admissions into medical schools in the United States, Canada, Australia and Carribean Islands. It is designed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and administered by Pearson VUE. MCAT is conducted 25 times in a year in 21 countries.

MCAT Registration is available throughout the year. Each attempt at MCAT costs between $315 – 360, depending upon the region. MCAT assesses a candidate’s analysis, reasoning, psychological skills and knowledge of biological systems.

  • Candidates must apply for a medical school and mention the same in a verification statement during registration.
  • To take a test for purposes other than attending a medical school; one must get special permission from AAMC.
  • Candidates can take a maximum of 3 tests in a one year period; 4 tests over a period of 2 years; and 7 tests in life. Check MCAT Exam Pattern
  • The online test consists of four sections to be attempted in 7.5 hours.
  • The overall MCAT Scores range lies between 472 – 528.

MCAT 2021 Exam Highlights

Exam Name MCAT
Full Form Medical College Admission Test
Organizing Body Association of American Medical colleges (AAMC)
Official Website
Exam Level International
Mode of Exam Computer based
Questions Type Multiple Type Questions (MCQs)
Duration of Exam 7 hours 30 minutes

MCAT 2021 Eligibility

  • Any candidates interested in pursuing career in Allopathic, Osteopathic, Podiatric and Veterinary can appear for the MCAT test.
  • Students from U.S. and Canada must have a UG degree to be eligible for the exam.
  • International candidates must be pursuing or have completed MBBS to sit for MCAT.
  • Students taking MCAT for purposes other than pursuing a career in medicine are required to get special permission from AAMC authorities.

MCAT 2021 Application Forms

Students intending to apply for medical school in United States and Canada must register for MCAT. The steps to do the same are-

  1. Visit the official website
  2. Create an AAMC account by providing the information asked
  3. A verification email will be sent to the registered email id
  4. Click on the link provided in the verification email and sign in
  5. Click on Start Exam Registration to make an appointment
  6. Provide information asked –
    • Personal Information
    • Biographic Information
    • Academic Background
  7. Agree to terms & conditions
  8. Select exam schedule and test center
  9. Pay the application fee using VISA or MasterCard credit card
  10. A confirmation email for the appointment will be sent to the registered email ID.

MCAT Fee Structure and Scheduling Zone

  • MCAT varies depending upon when you are applying for the exam
  • The registration deadlines are divided into three zone – Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Details of these zones are as follows – 
    • Gold Zone
      • Flexibility of date and location
      • Reschedule exam at lowest cost
      • Can get partial refund on cancelling the reservation
      • Low reschedule and cancelling fee for Fee Assistance Programs recipients.
    • Silver Zone
      • No increase in registration fee
      • Can reschedule exam on the given fee
      • Can cancel the reservation but no refund
    • Bronze Zone
      • Can cancel reservation but no refund
Particulars Gold Zone Deadline: 29 days prior to exam date Silver Zone Deadline: 15 days prior to exam date Bronze Zone Deadline 8 days prior to exam date
Initial Registration $315 $315 $370
Date and/or Test Center Reschedule Fee(non-refundable) $90 $150 N/A
Cancellation Refund $155 N/A N/A
International Fee (non-refundable) $105 $105 $105

Changing the Appointment

  • Additional fee is required for this service.
  • One may change test date and/or center before the deadline and if space is available.
  • Availability for the same can be checked on MCAT Registration System.
  • Re-Scheduling can be done latest by the deadline of silver zone.
  • Post the silver zone deadline, one must take a new appointment if one needs to reschedule the exam.

Cancellation and Refunds

  • Cancellation is available only till the deadline of the Gold zone; post which student will receive no refunds upon cancellation
  • Emergency refunds can be made till the deadline of Silver zone if the student is– 
    • hospitalized
    • experiences a death in the immediate family
    • unexpectedly called away to active military service
    • unexpectedly called away for health care service duties due to a catastrophic event
    • called to jury duty on the day of exam
    • displaced from his/her residence due to a natural calamity

MCAT 2021 Test Structure

  • MCAT assesses students’ on their problem-solving skills, critical thinking, written analysis and knowledge of scientific concepts and principles.
  • The computer based test consists of 221 multiple choice questions
  • Total duration of exam is 7.5 hours with breaks in between
  • There are 4 sections – Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems, Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills, Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems, and Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Break up of MCAT Test Pattern is given below –
Section Number of Questions Type of Questions Duration
Examinee Agreement - 8 minutes
Tutorial (optional) - 10 minutes
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems  50 10 passage-based questions (4-6 questions per set); 15 independent questions 95 minutes
Break (optional) - 10 minutes
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 53 9 passages (5-7 questions per passage) 90 minutes
Mid-Exam Break (optional) - 30 minutes
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 59 10 passage-based questions (4-6 questions per set); 15 independent questions 95 minutes
Break (optional) - 10 minutes
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 59 10 passage-based set of questions (4-6 questions per set); 15 independent questions 95 minutes
Void Question - 5 minutes
Satisfaction Survey (optional) - 5 minutes
Total Content Time - 6 hours 15 minutes

MCAT 2021 Syllabus

MCAT requires diverse knowledge in major areas of science, pyschology and sociology. Besides these, critical reasoning and analytical skills are also assessed in the test. Given below are the important topics that are primarily tested in MCAT exam –    

Sections MCAT Important Topics
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills Ethics, Philosophy, Population Health, Social Sciences, Humanities Disciplines and, Studies of Diverse Culture
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

Chemistry: Organic, and Inorganic,

Biology: Cellular and Molecular, Biochemistry (introductory topics),

Natural sciences: Research, Reasoning and Statistics

Basic Biochemistry concepts, Statistics Concepts and Introductory Research Methods

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behaviour

Social and Behavioral Sciences: Scientific Inquiry, Reasoning, Research

Concepts of Psychology, Sociology, and Biology about the Behavioral and Socio-Cultural Health Determinants

Mental Processes and Behavior, Concepts of Psychology and Sociology, Introductory Statistics Concepts and Research Methods of Introductory Science

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

Introductory Biochemistry and Biology Concepts

Chemistry: Organic and Inorganic, Concepts of Physics

Show Scientific Inquiry and Reasoning, Research Methods and Natural Sciences

Introductory Molecular Biology, Introductory and Statistics Concepts

MCAT 2021 Preparation Material

  • AAMC provides plenty of preparation material for MCAT.
  • Candidates can subscribe to MCAT sample papers and mock tests.
  • Video lectures and online tutorial are also available on AAMC website.
  • Reference books recommended for MCAT preparation are given in the table below:
Name of the Book Author/Publisher
Barron's New MCAT  Barron’s
Princeton Review MCAT Subject Review Complete Box Set The Princeton Review
MCAT Practice Tests Sterling Test Prep
MCAT Secrets Study Guide MCAT Exam Secrets Test Prep Team
MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2018-2021 Kaplan’s

MCAT 2021 Score

  • MCAT score lies on a range of 472-528.
  • Sectional score range is between 118-132.
  • There is penalty for incorrect answers.
  • Raw marks scored by students are converted into the score range
Section Score
Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems 118-132, midpoint:125
Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems 118-132, midpoint:125
Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills 118-132, midpoint:125
Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior 118-132, midpoint:125
Total 472 to 528, mid-point – 500

Voiding the Exam

  • Students have the choice to opt out of getting their exams scored.
  • After the completion of exam, student is asked if he/she wants to get the MCAT scored or if he/she wishes to void the particular MCAT.
  • Student must select the option to “void the MCAT”.
  • In case a student had leave the exam mid way due to illness or other unforeseen circumstance, he/she must submit a Test Center Concern to AAMC.
  • A voided exam counts toward the number of attempts at MCAT exam.

MCAT 2021 Score Report

  • MCAT scores are reported no later than 5 P.M ET on the day of score release
  • One can check the result on MCAT Score Reporting System by logging into AAMC accont.
  • MCAT score report have the following information –
    • Name of the candidate
    • AAMC ID
    • Date of birth of the candidate
    • Exam date
    • Sectional score
    • Total score
    • Sectional percentile rank
    • Overall percentile rank
    • Score profile

MCAT Score v/s Percentile Rank

MCAT score report consists of sectional and overall percentile rank acquired by a student. The comparison between MCAT score and percentile is as follows –

Overall Score v/s Percentile Rank

Total Score Percentile Rank Total Score Percentile Rank Total Score Percentile Rank Total Score Percentile Rank
528 100 510 84 498 45 486 12
527 – 523 >99 509 82 497 42 485 10
522 – 521 99 508 79 496 39 484 8
520 – 519 98 507 76 495 35 483 7
518 97 506 73 494 32 482 5
517 96 505 70 493 29 481 4
516 95 504 67 492 26 480 3
515 94 503 63 491  23 479    2
514 92 502 60 490 20 478 2
513 90 501 56 489 18 477 1
512 88 500 53 488 16 476 1
511 86 499 49 487 13 475 – 472 <1

Sectional Score v/s Percentile Rank

Total Score Percentile Rank Total Score Percentile Rank
132 100 124 45
131 99 123 33
130 97 122 22
129 93 121 13
128 87 120 7
127 79 119 3
126 68 118 1
125 57 - -

Rescoring Exams

  • In case a candidate find any discrepancy in the MCAT score, they can contact through MCAT Registration System for the fault.
  • AAMC will reply within 3 weeks with positive or negative response
  • Candidates cannot put up the request after 30 days of score release.

MCAT 2021 Exam Day Instructions

  • Candidates must report to the test center 30 minutes prior to the examination. After that, they may not be allowed to take the test and no refund will be provided.
  • Only those examinees who have qualifying ID will be allowed to enter the test center, otherwise, it’s a “no show”.
  • Student must present a valid ID at the test center. An ID is valid if it is  –
    • in English
    • not past its expiration date
    • issued by government
    • includes the photo of the candidate
    • include the signature of the candidate
    • not tampered or damaged in any way
  • Temporary IDs, paper IDs, IDs with extension stickers, or ID application receipts are not accepted
  • The first and last name on the ID must be exactly same as on MCAT registration. In case of any discrepancy related to this, issue could be resolved through AAMC services.
  • They are provided with two 10 minutes break and one 30 minutes break, but they cannot leave the testing center at any cost.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College.

Fee Structure

  • 315


which books I have to refer for MCAT? is ncert enough?

Hi Ritika, NCERT books will strengthen your basics. In addition to it, you are advised to solve as much practice papers as you can. You can check some of them from here: MCAT Practice Papers

My daughter is in 10th class ( CBSE board) from India. She want to apply for MBBS/PG from USA through MCAT . What’s the procedure . From which class she can start preparation for MCAT. Please suggest me.
Hi Mahesh, as eligibility criteria for this exam is graduation, one can start preparing for the same when he/she is in second year of their degree course.
How much marks will have to get to enroll in harvard medical school
Hi Adil, You may please check the official website of the Harvard Medical School to get the Minimum Marks required information.

- No More Comments -